Independence

It’s Narcissist Friday!

It’s called the Golden Rule, only it’s not quite what you have heard before. No, this Golden Rule says, “The one with the gold rules.”

It shouldn’t surprise us that narcissists want to control as many assets as possible. They want to control the money, the friendships, the time, the opportunities, and anything else that could encourage or strengthen their victims.

Over the years I have met a few people who have been so abused, so dominated, that they were afraid to try to stand on their own. They seemed to need someone to take care of them. They had gone so long without making decisions that they wanted someone to tell them what to do. There is often a vacant, waiting look in their eyes, much like the good dog waiting for the master’s notice. It’s sad.

Sometimes these people have been trained to do this. They were stripped of their confidence, self-esteem, and enthusiasm and taught to wait patiently until the narcissist decides to notice. Then they were supposed to be joyful that they got anything from their abuser. The narcissist holds the power and provisions. Gifts of attention and kindness are doled out with control and cruelty.

Narcissists and other abusers will allow victims to make decisions and then sabotage those decisions so the victim fails again and again. Either by cruel words and accusations or by condescending help and guidance, the narcissist labels the victim as incompetent. He/she needs the narcissist.

This is one reason victims often feel unable to leave abusive relationships. They have systematically been stripped of their independence, their ability to make decisions and take actions on their own. They have been convinced of their stupidity, their wickedness, and/or their inadequacy.

But when the narcissistic relationship ended, when the spouse found someone else or the parent turned the focus on another or the friend drifted to others, the victim is left standing alone—with little or no ability to handle life independently. And now what?

It is important for us to remember that being independent and being alone are different. No one should be all alone, but all of us should be able to stand independently. If the inability is too much, if you find that you can’t function in daily life, get professional help. Yes, it happens. Yes, it is part of the long term abuse. And, yes, there are things that can help you.

But maybe it is just the normal fear of making decisions and suffering consequences. There is probably someone in your life right now who is a good friend. A good friend will help you make a decision, then let you work it out. A good friend will be with you, but not take over. In fact, a good friend will help a lot less than you think you need. But that’s how he/she will help you learn to stand again.

Look to the Lord. Pray, then do what He leads you to do. Take what you believe is the next right step, no matter how small. You will be surprised at how capable you are when you try again. The lie held you back, took away your independence. Call it a lie and move forward again. You can do it.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Independence

  1. Loy

    A good article as always, as I was driving in today, I could not wait to read this post, not knowing what it would be I was in anticipation of the article. And, it did not disappoint.
    Thank you as always for what you do.
    This AM I was up early and was watching an old movie on the movie channel.
    Called Gaslight, while watching it with my wife, I was explaining to her how my Parent would use the same tactics on myself.
    And, I told my wife, so many times, later on I would find out something was patently untrue, and I always wondered why she would say things like that. For example I went to visit her, and she had a Gray suit in the guest room closet, She said the last time I was there I left this suit, I assured her I did not own a gray suit and maybe it was my brothers, he had lots of suits and would leave them at Dad’s house when he would visit, so he would always have something to wear and would not have to travel with them.
    She continued no, this is your suit you left it here, and she would not let up until I agreed, yes this is my suit I must have left it here, even though I can’t remember owing one. I took it back home with me, feeling a little odd, When I looked in the jacket, the sleeves looked well-worn and the size was a 44L I wear a 46R, I know I would have never bought a 44L, I donated it to Salvation Army, and decided if I want a Gray suit, I will go buy one. But, I can’t tell you how many times through my life, what seems like little things like this would happen, No, wonder I was confused all the time, I never really knew what was real, I told my son the other day, I did not like to read fantasy stories or Sci-fi when I was young, because I wanted to keep my head in realty, I felt if I went into fantasy, I would not be able to get out, it would make me feel more lost. However, I do enjoy those kinds of books today.
    ON an end note, I bought some music cd’s from a kid called NF, the lyrics are really good, and reassuring, especially for this kind of music, way out or my norm of classical music, but I can say he really tells it like it is, real.

  2. Mary27

    “Narcissists and other abusers will allow victims to make decisions and then sabotage those decisions so the victim fails again and again.”

    My ex-SIL would do this. For example, he’d ask my daughter for permission to buy a new video game. If she said “no” he’d get angry and call her mean and selfish. If she said “yes” he’d say it was her fault they were always in debt. Of course, he had every intention of buying it no matter what she said, but it was one more opportunity to make her feel she couldn’t get anything right.

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